January 23, 2007

Artichoke Brochette

My friend, Heather, hosted a New Year’s Eve cocktail party in which she asked me to bring a hors d’oeuvre. I wanted to make something easy, filling, healthy, and just plain good so I decided to make brochette. Not wanting the conventional tomato based brochette, I changed it up a bit by making it artichoke based instead. Plus, how can you ever go wrong with artichoke hearts? So yummy!

Now before I give you the recipe, I want to add that how you prepare the bread can make a big difference. I prepared mine by finding some good, fresh Italian bread that I had sliced by the bread man (save yourself the trouble!). I then brushed the slices with extra virgin olive oil and lightly toasted the slices in the oven. Toasting the slices adds a really nice crunch to compliment the softness of the brochette mixture, and the olive oil adds such a nice buttery flavor.

Okay, here is the recipe for about 15 pieces:

  • 9 oz box of frozen artichoke hearts
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Thaw the frozen artichoke hearts per the instructions on the box. After thawing, cool the pieces to room temperature by spreading them out on a plate and placing them in the refrigerator. They should reach room temperature in about 20-30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the vinegar and slowly poor in the olive oil while mixing it.
  3. Mix in the garlic, shallot, and parsley to the dressing.
  4. Slice the plum tomatoes lengthwise and remove the pulp (I choose plum tomatoes for this recipe since they are the most meaty of tomatoes; however, they do still have some pulp that will just water down your brochette). Dice the tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
  5. Take the artichoke hearts and roughly chop them by running a sharp knife through the artichokes. Add them to the bowl.
  6. Add salt and pepper liberally, to taste, and mix everything together.
  7. Serve the brochette mixture on slices of toasted bread (as I described above).